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Friends of Astronomy

In 1992 the Department officially inaugurated a group called "Friends of Astronomy" composed mostly of Cornell alumni and friends. This has been a very happy experience with significant interaction between the department and our friends in the wider world.

Anyone with an interest in all things astronomical here at Cornell is welcome to join the Friends of Astronomy group.  If interested in finding out more about the group, write to

Upcoming Events:

  • Wed, Feb 22: "Extreme planetary systems"

    While we usually think of planets in terms of Earth and our familiar neighbors in the Solar System, in fact, both ours and other extra-solar planetary systems contain some unusual and unexpected objects. In this program, Professor Dong Lai will highlight some of the most extreme exo-planets known and discuss their possible origins. Dr. Darryl Seligman will discuss recent discoveries of "alien" objects passing by the Solar System. Finally, Ph.D. student Chris O'Connor will tell us about planetary bodies around white dwarf stars and address the question "What will happen to the planets after the Sun dies?".

    The event will take place over Zoom on Wed Feb 22nd from 8:00 pm to 8:45 pm EST. There will be some free time for open discussion and reminiscences by participants from 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm and further Q/A from 8:45 pm to 9:30 pm as needed. The presentations will begin promptly at 8pm.

    Please register for the event by sending an email to indicating your interest in participating. Please include your full name and email address. We will then send you the Zoom link a few days before the event.

  • Tue, Mar 21: "The Big Bang: What we know, don't know, and can't know"

  • Wed, Apr 19: "Alien Earths and how to find them"

  • Tue, May 23: "Images of discovery and wonder: A history of NASA research and public engagement at SPIF"

Hope to see you there!